The Swype learning keyboard has finally arrived at the Google Play store for download onto Android tablets and smartphones.
Already used by more than 500 million worldwide, the app allows people to slide their finger across the screen in addition to tapping, speaking, or handwriting each letter, number, or symbol. Formerly available only on select devices or through a public beta launched in 2010, the app debuts Wednesday at an introductory price of 99 cents. A free version is also available for a 30-day trial.
The app monitors users' activity to better understand their writing style and help predict when common words or phrases are at hand, saving input time. The Google Play version also adds opt-in Living Language support that automatically loads local words from more than 20 dialects and a Smart Editor feature that suggests edits to the entire sentence.
The app, which competes with the likes of SwiftKey, SlideIT, and ShapeWay, also adjusts to each user's personal input pattern and features 13 new keyboard themes.
"Based on the incredible success of our beta program and our vocal customers, we decided to extend the power of Swype to more Android users through Google Play," Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance Mobile, said in a statement. "Android users deserve the best keyboard -- settling for an alternative is no longer necessary."
Nuance Communications reportedly spent $100 million in 2011 to acquire Swype, which was founded in 2002 by Cliff Kushler, the inventor of the T9 keyboard technology for numeric keypads.
Below is a demo video for Swype: